An extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) variety
Within the varieties of extra virgin olive oil, there are different olive varietals such as arbequina, hojiblanca and picual olive oil. Known as the queen of Spanish olives, picual is a variety of olive tree which is indigenous to Spain, and it is also the name of an olive oil produced from the fruit of this tree. These olives are grown in the provinces of Jaen, Cordoba, Malaga and Sevilla in Andalusia mainly, and smaller areas in Spain too.
Picual olive oil has an aroma and flavour of fresh olives with a peppery taste. The oil is characterised by its green colour with a slight golden hue, which is due to the high level of chlorophyll and carotenoids in the fruit. The carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments in plants, which gives them their yellow, orange and red colours.
When to use Picual Olive Oil?
Picual olive oil is a type of olive oil with a high smoke point and a strong flavour. This type of olive oil can be used to dress salads, for cheeses, for meats, and like any of our other types of extra virgin olive oil, picual olive oil can be eaten raw accompanied by toast or a tomato with salt.
It also has a stronger flavour than other types of EVOO, which is most commonly associated with a green olive taste. Because of this strong flavour, some people prefer to use it for cooking, especially frying, while others add it to their food after it has already been cooked.
Picual Olive Oil has more health benefits due to its higher levels of polyphenols which you can appreciate in its bitterness flavour. This makes it a more stable oil with its properties lasting for longer periods of time (up to 2 years after harvest) and it keeps its natural properties when heated at higher temperatures.
Health benefits of Picual Olive Oil
There are many health benefits of picual olive oil, and it is thought to be the highest grades of olive oil available. Because of the way extra virgin olive oil is obtained, it retains more true olive taste, and has a lower level of oleic acid than other olive oil varieties and is rich in linoleic acid too. Being a type of virgin olive oil, it is produced from the first cold pressing of the olives guaranteeing high polyphenol levels. It also contains many of the natural vitamins and minerals found in olives. Because of its high quality and purity, it has multiple health benefits including:
Aids in weight loss
Picual olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, which help to increase the body’s metabolism. The monounsaturated fats also help to prevent new fat cells from forming and break down the existing fat cells in the body. This prevents weight gain, which is why it helps with weight loss.
Prevents heart disease
Picual olive oil is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the body. This helps to prevent hardening of the arteries and a decrease in heart health including cardiovascular disease.
In addition to helping to prevent heart disease, picual olive oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is rich in oleocanthal, an anti-inflammatory agent that has been found to be more effective than ibuprofen. This helps to reduce pain and swelling of joints and muscles, which makes it a great option for those who suffer from arthritis.
The polyphenols and antioxidants in picual olive oil help to prevent the oxidation of fatty acids and glucose in the body. This prevents insulin resistance, which is a major risk factor for diabetes. It also helps to increase insulin sensitivity in the body, which makes it easier for the body to utilise blood sugar. This means that picual olive oil is great for those who are at risk for developing diabetes.
Lowers bad cholesterol levels
Picual olive oil is abundant in polyphenols and monounsaturated fats, both of which lower bad cholesterol in the body. These two key ingredients help to prevent high levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol from forming in the body and to oxidise existing LDL cholesterol, which decreases its levels in the blood.
Our varieties of Picual Olive Oil
Here at Spanish Gastro Larder, we have sourced three farmers highly appreciated for their picual extra virgin olive oil:
A limited edition and award winner known as The Legend Green Picual, an organic extra virgin olive oil from Andalucia in between Seville and Granada. The fruity, green olives give it a very fresh and herbaceous taste. It will remind you of a green tomato and the freshness of the fig tree. It is silky on the mouth, somewhat astringent with a medium bitterness and astringency.
Our Picual from Andalucia comes from a family farm located at Sierra Magina in the heart of the biggest olive oil area in the South of Spain, they have been producing EVOO since 1892. This is a picual variety with the highest level of antioxidants, full of aromas with reminiscences of tomato and figs. It has an intense flavour, which stays long in the nose and mouth. 100% picual variety ensures the highest guarantee of quality.
We not only provide awarded artisan Spanish extra virgin olive oils, but olives, dry fruits, other delicacies too. Shop all our products today, ideal as perfect gifts or as wonderful gastronomic treats for yourself.